Leftover Lentils Red Coconut Curry Beef and Bean Meatloaf (Vegan)

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2017

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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The other day, I made a boatload of Easy Vegan Thai Sweet Basil & Coconut Lentils – seen just above.  By boatload – I mean I started with 5 cups of dry lentils.  That makes nearly twice as much of the finished product – so – I decided to try to reinvent them.    I used two cups of them in this recipe and I still have a ton left.  You can either make this lentil recipe (cut in half) or your own favorite lentil recipe.  I recommend these because the flavor profiles match but I am pretty sure most lentil recipes will do.

I baked mine for an hour but this loaf was only about an inch deep.  I recommend going shallow rather than deep because the deeper the loaf is – the trickier it will be to get it cooked through without drying it out.

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I also used this crazy glaze I spotted at Ralph’s.  If you cannot find this – either let the loaf be naked or mix up a glaze of your choice – or just top it with your favorite BBQ sauce.  Glazes are nice because they add moisture & another flavor component.    Here is a CURRY KETCHUP recipe (use agave rather than honey – if you are vegan) and here is a SRIRACHA KETCHUP recipe (again – use agave rather than honey – if you are vegan).    I posted Korean & traditional BBQ sauce recipes HERE.

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Leftover Lentils Red Coconut Curry & Beef and Bean Meatloaf (Vegan)

Makes one meatloaf

INGREDIENTS

2 cups prepared lentils (your favorite recipe or less than half of this recipe Easy Vegan Thai Sweet Basil & Coconut Lentils)

11 oz vegan beef crumbles (I always use Beyond Meat)

2 TBS red curry paste (or more – to taste)

5.6 oz coconut milk

1/4 cup oats (more if your mixture seems too wet – less if it seems too dry) – breadcrumbs work, too

1/4 cup flax meal (more if your mixture seems too wet – less if it seems too dry)

GARNISH – your favorite meatloaf glaze or BBQ sauce & cilantro

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Mix all your ingredients together.  Get it to about the consistency of a wet burger.

I lined my pan with foil but parchment paper is better.  I sprayed it with cooking spray & poured the lentil mixture in & pressed it flat.

Top with the glaze of your choice.

Bake for 45-60 minutes or until it is cooked through.  A testing stick should come out clean.  Let it rest for 10 minutes before transferring or cutting into it.

Top with more glaze, if you desire, & serve with fresh cilantro.

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Leftover Vegan Meatloaf Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Mississippi Come Back Sauce & a Vegan Cheese Review

5 Comments

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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OK – let’s talk vegan cheese for a minute.  I read somewhere that saying you don’t like vegan cheese is tantamount to saying you don’t like cheese – and, I think we can all admit, that is just crazy talk.  I mean, I guess there are folks out there that really do not like ANY kind of cheese but who wants to know or hang out with THEM?  They probably don’t like dogs, either, and are also likely prepared to vote for Trump. Fuck them.

Let’s talk about reasonably sane people.  So – the point was, there are SO MANY kinds of vegan cheeses that sweeping & strident statements about not liking vegan cheese come off as either unattractively petulant or willfully ignorant.  Nobody likes people like that, either.  Still, I must say, I have said things that could be interpreted to mean, “I don’t like vegan cheese.”  In fairness, I have not yet ventured out to Vromage – but I intend to next week when my mom is in town visiting.

I have, however, ponied up the $10+ per cheese at Miyoko’s Kitchen – sampling these four:

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My opinion is that the hard cheeses are not “there” yet – in that they are unpleasantly sharp & really do not replace the things they are meant to with much success.  They might fare better on a cracker or burger but naked – not so much.  The two soft ones, however, the Garlic Herb & Double Cream Chive are pretty good – even naked.  Additionally, they melted beautifully into cream sauces, like my 5-Ingredient Creamy Vegan Garlic Herb Pasta with Roasted Golden Beets & Chard, seen just above.  So – if you are looking to make creamy pasta dishes – I recommend these guys with full-throated enthusiasm.

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I have also tried one of the earliest vegan cheese contenders – one that met with general, vegan approval, that is – Daiya.  Many a vegan has sworn by the awesomeness of this stuff.  I must admit – my first efforts with it let me down but it is certainly possible that I had not managed my expectations properly & my disappointment was a result of expecting it to be a really cheesy product.  It is not.  I used to argue that it doesn’t melt but these shreds here did melt in a recent quesadilla that I made.  I actually enjoyed that quesadilla, too, because I have learned to be a more generous audience for these early attempts at what is surely to evolve, eventually, into something as convincing as Beyond Meat’s faux chicken & beef-free crumbles are.  This Daiya stuff is to mozzarella what veggie burgers are to real burgers – a decent substitute – not a product that will fool anyone into thinking they are getting the real thing.  And it has a very distinct flavor – specific & not terribly cheesy – but not unpleasant either – once you adjust.  But really – there is only one other vegan product (like Beyond Meat’s line) that, I think, CAN fool people is the Morning Star Sausage Patties – seen below.  They are AMAZING & complete with seems like gristle & everything!  They look & taste like the real thing.  In fact, the first time I had one was at Duke’s, on Sunset in West Hollywood (now closed! ).  I took one bite & blanched.  These were REAL sausage patties!  I complained to the waitress who assured me they were, in fact, veggie.  I persisted – until she explained that their real sausage was served link-style.  They had no real sausage patties.  And it was then & there that I fell in love with these guys. (UPDATE 10-30-15 – these sausage patties are NOT vegan and they contain egg & dairy.  See the full ingredients list in the comments below.)

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The next vegan cheese I want to rag on are these guys.  Kraft & Velveeta cheese slices are dreamy – even if they are likely to be more petroleum than dairy.  So – I naturally thought that these guys above would be good.  After all, the product they are there to replace is as chemically & fake as any food on the market.  How hard could that be to reproduce?  Apparently – very hard.  These two flavors, as far as I am concerned, are downright yucky.  Still – some got mixed in with real ones at a BBQ recently & the kids there were ripping the plastic off the real & vegan ones, indiscriminately, oblivious the word “vegan” I had written with a Sharpie on the impostor slices.  They shoved them in their faces & happily munched – unaware that my dogs won’t even eat those things.  But, to be fair, two of my dogs won’t eat the “real” cheese ones, either.

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Onto Follow Your Heart brand mozzarella.  Follow Your Heart, indeed.  Follow it to some other brand of cheese – vegan or otherwise.  I had high hopes for this stuff – primarily because it was very soft & smooshy in the package & that made me think it would be one of the rare vegan cheeses that really & truly melts near heat – like real cheese.  I found it amid a plethora of vegan cheeses at the kinda awesome Lassen’s in Los Feliz.  This is a health food HEAVEN with nearly every vegan option you can think of – even vegan bacon bits sold in bulk!  GOOD ones, too.  But this place is only frequented by those with pockets as deep as Madonna’s.  Or those that want to go bankrupt faster than MC Hammer – or the reckless regular shoppers at Gelson’s.   But Lassen’s is a great one-stop spot to find vegan staples like nutritional yeast, vital wheat gluten and a wide selection of vegan cheeses.  So – go there for specialty & hard-to-find stuff & a huge selection of bulk items.

Anyway – this Follow Your Heart shit is slimy & mushy & flavorless and does NOT melt in an oven at 350 – on top of a tortilla pizza.  I know.  Because I tried.  It softened a lot but the the pieces never melted enough to lose their shape – like real cheese does.  More importantly, it tastes like nothing & the raw texture is just unforgivable.  I am almost motivated to write a strongly worded letter.  Almost.

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Next in the hot seat – Lisanatti brand mozzarella.  UPDATE – THIS IS NOT VEGAN – AS IT CONTAINS CASEIN.  I almost opted not to try this brand of vegan mozzarella – primarily because the packaging is so ugly.  It makes me think of that Cracker Barrel logo above.  I possess an inexplicable & irrational loathing for that Cracker Barrel logo.  It is Just.  So.  Ugly!  Look at it!  What the fuck?  Were the powers that be too cheap to hire a real branding company to design their logo?  “Cousin Betty took a course in graphic design at Bodunk City College & she works cheap.  A pack of Pall Malls & a handle of Fireball and you’re golden.”

Apparently, Cousin Betty took that course in the fucking seventies because there is no other explanation for the color and…ugh.  It just makes me nuts.  I’d rather starve than eat there & support their bad taste in graphic design & poor marketing strategies.  But – I digress.

Lisanatti Foods seem to have let either Lisa or Natti design the packaging – unless Cousin Betty is still moonlighting but – you know what?  It is OK.  It is OK because whomever they put in charge to make this cheese did a fucking great job!  Still – there is a lot of info on that ugly label.  Apparently, Oregon is the landmark of quality, which is news to me.   This cheese is not only gluten-free but Kid Kritics approved.  I am always mystified when things to do with kids are deliberately misspelled – but whatever.  Apparently these kids approved of this vegan cheese but after I saw those kids eating that gawdawful Tofutti shit – my faith in kids as kritics is shaken.

The label declares, “Shreds, melts and tastes great!”  And, I am happy to report, it really does taste great!  Naked.  Really good.  It is soft like mozzarella & truly tastes good.  I did not try to shred it but I did try to melt it – on the same tortilla pizza I tested the Follow Your Heart cheese.  Neither cheese really melted.  They both got very soft & had I used this Lisanatti cheese in something pressed – like a quesadilla – the melting quality might have been facilitated more.  So – not a true melt but I am feeling forgiving here because they got the taste to be pleasant & that is more than half the battle.  PS – this is the cheese I used on my meatloaf grilled cheese here and I even nuked it for a minute and a half – hoping to just radiate the fuck out of it so it lost its will to not melt but I failed.  SOFT – but not ooey-gooey melted.  You can see in the photo below – it has not even melted enough to obscure where one slice ends & another begins – after nuking AND pan frying.  But it tastes good and I will buy it again!

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Now – on to Field Roast Chao slices.  These guys get the real cheese thing across best.  I have tried all three flavors & find them each to be distinct & genuinely yummy.  The creamy original is like a provolone or mild white cheddar.  Tomato cayenne is a very nacho cheese kinda thing & the coconut herb with black pepper is just a mild white cheese.  The texture is right on & the flavors are good.  And the packaging is attractive!  This is the bar, in my opinion, for vegan cheese that is widely available in supermarkets & not just in specialty shops.  While this cheese also failed the melt test in a 350 degree oven – it passed the “melt in a pan” test with flying colors!  This is the only cheese I have attempted that with because I was certain that the tomato cayenne cheese & some Rotel would make an amazing queso – and I was right!  Behold – my 5-Minute 2-Ingredient Vegan Nacho Cheese Dip!

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Maybe all of these cheeses would melt in a pan – if given the chance – and that might be the secret to getting it gooey for sandwiches & pizzas etc…melt it in a an & pour it on top.  I will experiment & get back to you on that.

Oh – and Soledad Sanctuary used to make cruelty-free goat cheese but they recently turned vegan & are developing their own vegan cheeses!  If you live in LA, they have a stand at the Hollywood farmer’s market & are happy to let you sample their efforts.  Eventually, they will be selling the cheeses through their site, too.

So – now – let me present my Leftover Vegan Meatloaf Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Mississippi Come Back Sauce!

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Mississippi Come Back Sauce is, basically, a homemade vegan & spicy Thousand Island – not unlike the Delta Dipping Sauce I presented in my Spicy Southern Fried Cauliflower and Delta Dipping Sauce with Smashed Baked Potatoes and White Gravy and Buffalo Mac & Cheese – seen above.  This recipe makes quite a bit but it should keep in the fridge for a week so you can use it on other things – like a dip for tater tots, on burgers or tacos – even a salad dressing.

Mississippi Come Back Sauce

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup vegan mayo

2 TBS ketchup

1 TBS Dijon

1-2 TBS sriracha

1 TBS vegan Worcestershire sauce

1 TBS fresh lemon juice

1 tsp dry mustard

1/4 cup onion – minced

2 garlic cloves – minced

S&P to taste

DIRECTIONS

Blend & chill.

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Leftover Vegan Meatloaf Grilled Cheese Sandwich with Mississippi Come Back Sauce

Feeds as many as you like – depending on the amount of leftovers you have.  Here are the ingredients I used:

Leftover vegan meatloaf

Jewish rye bread

Vegan butter

Mississippi Come Back Sauce (recipe above)

Vegan cheese (I used Lisanatti mozzarella)

DIRECTIONS

Make like you would make any grilled cheese.  Butter the bread on one side & place it in a frying pan on medium heat.  Top with the other ingredients & put another slice of bread on top – buttered side up.  Turn a few times – pressing the sandwich with the cover of a pan to help heat it through – until the bread is golden to your taste & the cheese is at least pretending to wilt.

Eat.  🙂

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Easy Vegan Meatloaf

9 Comments

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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This is my first attempt at a vegan meatloaf.  I was determined not to use lentils or other distinctly NOT beefy ingredient – so I opted for Beyond Meat’s wonderfully versatile Beef-free Crumble.  I also could not use eggs so I needed some other ingredient to bind things.  Aquafaba (the liquid in a can of chick peas) is all the rage these days as an egg replacer – so I tried that.  My results were actually very good.  The only thing I would change is that I pureed all the ingredients & that left the meatloaf soft & without enough texture – so – I will recommend a different method in this post.

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I used that rich & thick BBQ sauce – but you can use your own favorite – or make your own.  The only other thing that I did – which was a pain in the ass but necessary for photos – was use a terrine pan to bake the meatloaf.  I wanted the end result to be DEEP – and look hefty in photos.  You do not have that concern so just use a regular loaf pan.  Finally, I guess I have never had traditional meatloaf because that sugary, ketchup topping that seems standard is news to me.  I wasn’t going to use any but changed my mind – basically for the color it added in the photos.  If a brown sugar-ketchup topping sounds gross or unnecessary to you – blow it the fuck off.

Ketchup Brown Sugar Glaze

1/2  cup ketchup (or additional BBQ sauce)

1 TBS Dijon mustard

1 TBS vegan Worcestershire sauce (optional)

2 TBS light-brown sugar

Whisk the ingredients together

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Easy Vegan Meatloaf

INGREDIENTS
2 (9 oz) bags of beefy crumbles

1 (15 oz) can chick peas & their liquid (UPDATE 11-30-15– several folks complained their meatloaf is too wet/soft when done.  Maybe drain & reserve the liquid from the can to add only if you feel your meatloaf is too dry before putting it in the oven.)

1/2 cup panko or other bread crumbs (UPDATE 11-30-15 – likewise – maybe add more bread crumbs or some flax or chia seeds to aid in binding – if you feel the “meat” is too wet.  It should be like a raw meatball – moist but can hold its shape)

Olive oil

1/2 small onion – diced

2 celery stalks – chopped

2 garlic cloves – chopped

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 TBS crushed red pepper

1/4 cup BBQ sauce (plus more for topping)

1/4 cup Bloody Mary mix (or tomato juice) or 1/2 small tomato – diced

1 TBS fresh thyme – removed from stems

1/4 cup fresh parsley – chopped (plus more for garnish)

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DIRECTIONS

First of all – ignore my photos of the terrine pan with the little ramekin holding my meatloaf in shape.  Just use a regular loaf pan.

Heat the oven to 375 degrees.

In a large saute pan, heat a 1-2 TBS or so of olive oil & saute the onion & celery until soft.  Add the beefy crumbles & heat through.  Add the garlic & heat for another minute.  Mix in the panko or bread crumbs.  Set aside.

In a food processor – puree the chick peas & their juice.

Add the salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika, crushed red pepper, BBQ sauce and Bloody Mary mix (or tomato juice or tomato).  Blend.  Add about 1/2 of the beefy crumble mix from the pan & blend.  Add this mix from the food processor to the saute pan & mix in with the remaining, in tact beefy crumble mixture.

Grease a loaf pan (or treat it with cooking spray) and put the meatloaf mixture in it.  Top with BBQ sauce.

Put it in the oven for 45-60 minutes or until it begins to brown & is cooked through.  If you are using the ketchup glaze – make it while the meatloaf cooks & add it at about the 30 minute mark.  You need not use all of it & can serve the extra as a dipper or a fresh coat when the meatloaf comes out of the oven.

Let it sit a solid ten minutes before cutting into it.  Garnish with parsley & serve.

LEFTOVERS ALERT!!!  Make a meatloaf sandwich or a sloppy Joe or use the meat to stuff bell peppers or make a beef ragout pasta sauce or layer some in a lasagna.  Why not make chili?  So many ways to re-purpose this stuff!

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Vegan Meatloaf Cupcakes with Sriracha Mashed Potatoes

1 Comment

 

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.

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These are pretty yummy and can be made with any sort of meatloaf – whether meat or vegetarian or vegan.  I made this up from things I thought would be in real meatloaf – without the meat – even though I have never made meatloaf before. I know real meatloaf recipes usually require eggs but I was determined to make this vegan WITHOUT making a run to the store for special ingredients.  I whipped the resulting “meat” into a puree in my food processor – because I wanted it to be as authentic seeming as possible.  So many vegan meatloaf recipes result in evident rolled oats & other visible ingredients that would tip off to a meat eater that they were getting something “healthy.”

My only warning about these is that they were a tad hard to get out of the cupcake pan because they were very soft & moist.  That is a good thing for eating but a bad thing for presentation so – simply remedy!  Use paper or foil cupcake liners.  Or maybe let them cool a bit before trying to move them but the paper liners seem foolproof – so I recommend very highly that you use them.

This recipe made 7 cupcakes and two of them filled me to capacity for dinner.  So – I would guess this recipe safely feeds three as a main course – with maybe a side veggie.  Use my Vegan Sriracha Mashed Potatoes recipe HERE or whatever mashed potato recipe you prefer – or try mashed cauliflower!

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 Vegan Meatloaf Cupcakes

INGREDIENTS

1 lb meatless ground beef

1-2 TBS olive oil

5 celery stalks – diced

1 onion – diced

1 jalapeno – seeded & diced (optional)

4 garlic cloves – chopped

1/4 cup fresh parsley – chopped

2 tsp dry oregano

1 tsp pepper

Salt to taste

1 tsp vegan Worcestershire sauce or tamari

1 TBS sriracha

1/4 cup ketchup

1/4 BBQ sauce

2 TBS Dijon mustard

1/4 cup breadcrumbs

2 tsp onion powder

2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp dry sage

Extra ketchup or BBQ sauce as a glaze

Cupcake liners

Scallions & sriracha as garnish

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DIRECTIONS

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Make your MASHED POTATOES.  Set aside.

Heat the olive oil over medium heat & saute the onions & celery until soft.  Then – pretty much add all the other ingredients & blend together.

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If you are using cupcake liners – you can just start shoving this meatloaf into the cupcake pan.  Either way – you might choose to do what I did – which was puree this shit in a food processor.

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I really recommend using cupcake lines but, if you do not, grease the cupcake pan with cooking spray & put the meatloaf in the pan.  Top each with a little ketchup or BBQ sauce & bake for about 30 minutes.  When they have cooled a bit – pop those bad boys out & top with mashed potatoes.  I left mine like this & reheated them for about 20 minutes at 350 when I was ready to eat.  If you are rearing to go – top those potatoes with sriracha & some chopped scallions.  Settle in & eat them all if you want.  Then – in a food coma – navigate your ass to www.BathingBook.com and buy my book!  Read the reviews!  IT IS A HILARIOUS book – I promise!

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